5 ergonomic accessories that can create a comfy workspace

Does your desk measure up?

No matter if you’re working, watching or browsing, we often still spend a significant amount of our lives absorbing information from a screen.  

The longer we sit glued to a computer, the greater the negative effect it can have on our health at home. This is especially true if we don’t have the best home desk setup in place, or the right accessories that can help to improve joint alignment.

Woman with a cup of coffee sitting at her desk with books and laptopCredit: Shutterstock / shurkin_son
Your desk setup could be missing ergonomic accessories

Nothing benefits us more than regularly getting up and moving around, but sometimes we simply can’t escape being desk-bound, especially if computer work is involved.  

Many of us may have spent years sat at desks feeling uncomfortable, but at home we can be in control of every element of the space we like to focus in.  

Thankfully a wealth of stylish ergonomic accessories await, designed to make your desk space at home comfier and kinder to the body.  

Yet when so many solutions claim to solve chronic pain and alleviate muscle tightness when using computers, knowing what will work best for your needs can be tricky, so we’ve spoken to experts to help you find the relief you need.


1. Ergonomic keyboard

A handy solution for those that type

Expect to pay £12-£50 

An ergonomic keyboard is designed help minimise your arms overextending by keeping your hands and wrists properly aligned.  

Ergonomic keyboards differ in design – with subtler options having undulating curves and others looking like the keyboard’s been chopped in half.  

If you often find yourself sat at your laptop for hours at a time, you could really benefit from using a separate keyboard. Even a simple mini keyboard without the number pad can be a better ergonomic option over a standard model, explains Stephen Bowden, Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist at Morgan Maxwell. 

“When you’re using a keyboard with an integrated number pad, your arm must stretch further forward. 

“It’s a common repetitive strain injury and area of discomfort for the shoulder as you’re quite close to the end of range of movement. A mini keyboard means your arm can be closer to your body’s midline.” 

ergonomic home office setup with wireless equipment.Credit: Shutterstock / JeSleiter
Using a separate mini keyboard can improve alignment

2. Wrist rest

Create smooth lines from hand to elbow

Expect to pay £10-£30 

You can opt to clip a separate wrist rest onto a desk or use a portable one, which is most effective when placed just in front of the keyboard. Keep an eye on how this affects your hands though, ideally it should create a smooth flowing line from elbow to fingertips for comfortable typing. 

“If you do a lot of typing, a wrist cushion can be very helpful at raising the wrist slightly, preventing strain on various wrist tendons when using a keyboard,” says Will Harlow, an over-50s Specialist Physiotherapist at HT Physio 

“If you develop pain or numbness in your hand (specifically the first three digits) that can be the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.” 

Space-saving products integrate an in-built wrist cushion for support, such as a mouse mat or keyboard, and are a good entry point if you’re trying this for the first time, though the wrong shape or size could exacerbate your issues. 

“Look for a support that has a generous returns policy,” adds Harlow, “that way, you can try it out and send it back if it doesn’t help.” 

Gel mousepad ergonomic accessory, specially designed with wrist supportCredit: Shutterstock / GS23
Some mousepads incorporate wrist rests

3. Ergonomic chair

A seat that adapts to your body

Expect to pay £120-£500 

Ergonomic chairs come in a wonderful array of all shapes and sizes and are usually considered the best chair for sitting all day and improving posture 

Ergonomic chairs can sometimes have integrated foot and head rests, arm rests, and lower and upper back support – with many of these features being adjustable to achieve a perfect fit.  

Their ability to adapt to the body is key to their popularity, however any chair that encourages someone to sit for extended periods of time should be set up properly and not relied upon as a substitute for taking a desk break and moving your body. 

“Ninety-five percent of people are unlikely to use an ergonomic chair’s back rest properly”

“Having a seat pan with a synchro-mechanism [when the seat and the back of the chair move in sync together with a handy lever] that can rotate forwards is helpful, so your knees can be below your pelvis, and you can be in a perched position,” says Bowden.  

“Ninety-five percent of people are unlikely to use an ergonomic chair’s back rest properly, but if you already have a bad back, an integrated lumbar support can be helpful.” 

Back view of man working on his computer at home by a windowCredit: Shutterstock / 22Images Studio
Ergonomic chairs can often adjust to fit you

4. Sit-stand desk

Get up, stand up!

Expect to pay £185-£800 

Standing desks are becoming more common in offices, with people seeing their benefit now at home too, but standing for hours at a time, especially while concentrating on a screen, can often shift pressure and strain into different areas of the body.  

That’s where sit-stand desks with an adjustable height are useful, especially if a home office area also functions as a hobby space 

But whatever the height, the same principles of good posture apply, such as keeping arms at a comfortable right angle and ensuring the top of any screen(s) remain at – or slightly below – eye level. Be aware of any new aches and pains that might signal something with your setup isn’t quite right.  


“Starting from the neck and working your way down, neck pain is a common sign that the height of screen is not correct,” says Harlow.  

“You might also notice pain and tightness in the muscles at the top of your shoulders after a session at your desk.  

“Pain at the front of the shoulder is a common sign of poor posture, often as a result of a badly set up desk. Another sign is pain between the shoulder blades when you have been sitting for any length of time.” 

Those with a smaller budget seeking the flexibility of a home office desk with an adjustable height may prefer to opt for a sit-stand desk convertor 

These lightweight accessories come in various forms and sit on top of an existing desk, and can make the switch between sitting, perching, and standing a breeze. 

Woman Using Adjustable Height Standing Desk In Office For Good PostureCredit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov
Some desks can adjust their height to suit you

5. Laptop stand

Raise the bar (and your screen)

Expect to pay £10-£20 

Anyone using a laptop for more than 30 minutes a day would benefit from using a laptop stand to raise the top of the screen to eye level and encourage a better aligned posture, according to Bowden.  

Laptop stands are an affordable way to improve the ergonomic of your desk – but do keep in mind that certain glasses prescriptions might affect how the head is held when looking at a screen. 

“People who wear varifocal lenses need to be looking through the bottom of their glasses, so if they raise their screen up, it could put their neck into overextension,” Bowden says.  

“So people wearing varifocals often like to have their laptop set up lower. An eye test will ensure they have a prescription suitable for this type of computer work.” 

Foldable adjustable stand with hand typing on laptop screen raised to eye height in home officeCredit: Shutterstock / John B Hewitt
A laptop stand is useful to raise the screen to eye level

Room for improvement

If you’re not sitting comfortably, it may be that your desk at home only needs one adjustment to make your time at the computer more enjoyable – but bear in mind that changing one element of your workspace can then have a knock-on effect (like needing a separate keyboard if you start using a laptop stand, for example). 

Even if you are just fine at your desk, it’s still incredibly worthwhile looking at your setup to see if there’s a simple way to improve things… your future self will thank you for it (and it could solve a mystery other niggle that you didn’t think was related). 

If you feel you’re still in need of a desk setup MOT, or don’t know where to start, Bowden recommends checking out these tips for good posture when home working.

Rosanna Spence

Written by Rosanna Spence she/her


Rosanna Spence has been a journalist for nearly 10 years, reporting on a huge array of topics – from microwaves to cocktails, sustainable buildings, the Caribbean islands and beyond. She’s interviewed chefs at the helm of Michelin-starred restaurants and chatted to countless CEOs about their businesses, as well as created travel guides for experienced travellers seeking life-changing adventures. Throughout her career, she has created content for Business Traveller, i-escape.com, Pub & Bar, BRITA, Dine Out and many more leading titles and brands.

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